Attached Subject Pronouns with the Regular Perfective Verbs

In Arabic, connected pronouns can be attached to verbs, nouns, or prepositions. If attached to verbs, they can be a subject (the doer of the action) فَاعِل or an object (the receiver of the action) مَفْعُول. In this lesson, we look at the connected subject pronouns with regular perfective verbs الْفِعْلُ الْمَاضِي. In a previous lesson, we briefly looked at the common personal pronouns (also know as separate pronouns). The personal pronoun الضَّمِيْر المُنْفَصِل refers to the person who’s speaking (1st person), the person we speak to (2nd person), or the person we speak about (3rd person). For each of these pronouns, there is a corresponding connected pronoun. 

For the separate pronoun أَنَا, the connected pronoun is ـتُ; for نَحْنُ 'we', it is ـنَا; for أَنْتَ 'you (masculine)', it is ـتَ, and so on, as shown in the table below. This connected pronoun is attached to the perfective verb الْفِعْلُ الْمَاضِي. Hence, it is the subject of the verb, that is الْفَاعِل. 

The Separate Pronoun The Connected Pronoun Connected  Pronoun with Verbs




   كَتَبْـتُ رِسَالَةً – I wrote a letter

   شَرِبْـتُ كُوبًا مِنَ الشَّاي – I drank a cup of tea

   رَقَدْتُ عَلَى الْكَنَبَةِ – I slept on the sofa




   ذَهَبْـنَا إِلَى السُّوقِ – we went to the market

   شَاهَدْنَا التِّلْفَازَ – we watched the TV

   نَظَّفْـنَا الْبَيْتَ – we cleaned the house


   you - masculine


   قَرَأْتَ رُوَايَةً جَدِيْدَةً – you read a new novel

   ضَحِكْـتَ مَعَهُم – you laughed with them

   فَتَحْـتَ الْبَابَ – you opened the door


   you - feminine


   خَرَجْـتِ مِنَ الْبَيْتِ – you went out

   طَبَخْـتِ بَامِيَةً – you cooked okra

   غَسَلْـتِ مَلابِسَكِ – you washed your clothes


   you - masculine, plural


   لَعِبْـتُم فِي الْحَدِيْقةِ – you played in the garden

   قَفَزْتُم إِلَى النَّهرِ – you jumped to the river

   سَبَحْـتُم فِي النَّهْرِ – you swam in the river


   you - feminine plural


   نَزَلْـتُنَّ مِنَ السَّيَّارَةِ – you got off the car

   فَتَحْـتُنَّ بَابَ السَّيَّارَةِ – you opened the car door

   عَرَفْـتُنَّ الْإِجَابَةَ – you knew the answer




   دَرَسَ التَّارِيْخَ – he studied history

   أَخَذَ الكِـتَابَ – he took book

   حَمَلَ الشَّنْطَةَ – he carried the bag



   ... تْ

   جَلَسَتْ عَلَى الْمَقْعَدِ – she sat on the bench

   ذَهَبَتْ إِلَى الْجَامِعَةِ – she went to the university

   دَخَلَتْ إِلَى الْغُرْفَةِ – she came in to the room


   they - masculine


   رَفَضُـوا الْفِكْرَةَ – they rejected the idea

   عَطَسُـوا – they sneezed

   رَجَعُـوا إِلَى الْبَيْتِ – they returned home


   they - feminine


   لَبِسْـنَ مَلابِسَ جِدِيْدةً – they wore new clothes

   سَافَرْنَ إِلَى الْقَرِيَةِ – they traveled to the village

   طبَخْـنَ العَشَاءِ – they cooked dinner

The connected pronouns in the above example function as a subject فَاعِل (i.e. the person who did the action). With هُوَ and هِيَ, there is no attached pronoun because it is covert مُسْتَتِر; that is, it does not overtly surface as a suffix at the verb end.

Here are more examples of perfective forms with هُوَ and هِيَ:


   سَافَرَ إِلَى أُسْتَرَالِيَا – he travelled to Australia

   كَتَبَ رُوَايَةً جَدِيْدَةً – he wrote a new novel

   رَكِبَ سَيَّارَتَه إِلَى العَمَلِ – he rode / took his car work

   شَرِبَ كَأسًا مِنَ الحَلِيْبِ – he drank a glass of milk

There is no connected pronoun at the end of the verb. The doer of the action is understood from the context.

   سَافَرَتْ إِلَى أُسْتَرَالِيا.

   كَتَبَتْ رُوَايَةً جَدِيْدةً.

   رَكِبَتْ سَيَّارَتَها إِلَى العَمَلِ.

   شَرِبَتْ كَأسًا مِنَ الحَلِيْبِ.

the تْ at the end of the verb is not for the subject. It marks the feminine. The subject pronoun is covert understood as هِيَ.
The forms of the verb with هُوَ and هِيَ are the same. That is, no attached pronoun surfaces at the verb end—it is covert. The only difference between the two forms is that the feminine marker تْ is added when the covert pronoun is هِيَ.

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